Sunday, July 5, 2015

Psywar - Full Documentary

The Pentagon’s “2015 Strategy” For Ruling the World

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On Wednesday, the Pentagon released its 2015 National Military Strategy, a 24-page blueprint for ruling the world through military force. While the language in the report is subtler and less incendiary than similar documents in the past, the determination to unilaterally pursue US interests through extreme violence remains the cornerstone of the new strategy. Readers will not find even a hint of remorse in the NMS for the vast destruction and loss of life the US caused in countries that posed not the slightest threat to US national security. Instead, the report reflects the steely resolve of its authors and elite constituents to continue the carnage and bloodletting until all potential rivals have been killed or eliminated and until such time that Washington feels confident that its control over the levers of global power cannot be challenged.

As one would expect, the NMS conceals its hostile intentions behind the deceptive language of “national security”. The US does not initiate wars of aggression against blameless states that possess large quantities of natural resources. No. The US merely addresses “security challenges” to “protect the homeland” and to “advance our national interests.” How could anyone find fault with that, after all, wasn’t the US just trying to bring peace and democracy to Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and now Syria?

In the Chairman’s Forward, Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey attempts to prepare the American people for a future of endless war:
“Future conflicts will come more rapidly, last longer, and take place on a much more technically challenging battlefield. … We must be able to rapidly adapt to new threats while maintaining comparative advantage over traditional ones … the application of the military instrument of power against state threats is very different than the application of military power against non state threats. We are more likely to face prolonged campaigns than conflicts that are resolved quickly … that control of escalation is becoming more difficult and more important.” (Document: 2015 U.S. National Military Strategy, USNI News)
War, war and more war. This is the Pentagon’s vision of the future. Unlike Russia or China which have a plan for an integrated EU-Asia free trade zone (Silk Road) that will increase employment, improve vital infrastructure, and raise living standards, the US sees only death and destruction ahead. Washington has no strategy for the future, no vision of a better world. There is only war; asymmetrical war, technological war, preemptive war. The entire political class and their elite paymasters unanimously support global rule through force of arms. That is the unavoidable meaning of this document. The United States intends to maintain its tenuous grip on global power by maximizing the use of its greatest asset; its military.

And who is in the military’s gunsights? Check out this excerpt from an article in Defense News:
“The strategy specifically calls out Iran, Russia and North Korea as aggressive threats to global peace. It also mentions China, but notably starts that paragraph by saying the Obama administration wants to “support China’s rise and encourage it to become a partner for greater international security,” continuing to thread the line between China the economic ally and China the regional competitor.

“None of these nations are believed to be seeking direct military conflict with the United States or our allies,” the strategy reads. “Nonetheless, they each pose serious security concerns which the international community is working to collectively address by way of common policies, shared messages, and coordinated action.” (Pentagon Releases National Military Strategy, Defense News)
Did you catch that last part? “None of these nations are believed to be seeking direct military conflict with the United States or our allies. Nevertheless, they each pose serious security concerns.”

In other words, none of these countries wants to fight the United States, but the United States wants to fight them. And the US feels it’s justified in launching a war against these countries because, well, because they either control vast resources, have huge industrial capacity, occupy an area of the world that interests the US geopolitically, or because they simply want to maintain their own sovereign independence which, of course, is a crime. According to Dempsey, any of these threadbare excuses are sufficient justification for conflict mainly because they “pose serious security concerns” for the US, which is to say they undermine the US’s dominant role as the world’s only superpower.

The NMS devotes particular attention to Russia, Washington’s flavor-of-the-month enemy who had the audacity to defend its security interests following a State Department-backed coup in neighboring Ukraine. For that, Moscow must be punished. This is from the report:
“Some states, however, are attempting to revise key aspects of the international order and are acting in a manner that threatens our national security interests. While Russia has contributed in select security areas, such as counternarcotics and counterterrorism, it also has repeatedly demonstrated that it does not respect the sovereignty of its neighbors and it is willing to use force to achieve its goals. Russia’s military actions are undermining regional security directly and through proxy forces. These actions violate numerous agreements that Russia has signed in which it committed to act in accordance with international norms.” (2015 NMS)
Russia is an evildoer because Russia refused to stand by while the US toppled the Ukrainian government, installed a US stooge in Kiev, precipitated a civil war between the various factions, elevated neo Nazis to positions of power in the security services, plunged the economy into insolvency and ruin, and opened a CIA headquarters in the Capital to run the whole shooting match. This is why Russia is bad and must be punished.

But does that mean Washington is seriously contemplating a war with Russia?

Here’s an excerpt from the document that will help to clarify the matter:
“For the past decade, our military campaigns primarily have consisted of operations against violent extremist networks. But today, and into the foreseeable future, we must pay greater attention to challenges posed by state actors. They increasingly have the capability to contest regional freedom of movement and threaten our homeland. Of particular concern are the proliferation of ballistic missiles, precision strike technologies, unmanned systems, space and cyber capabilities, and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) technologies designed to counter U.S. military advantages and curtail access to the global commons.” (2015 NMS)
It sounds to me like the Washington honchos have already made up their minds. Russia is the enemy, therefore, Russia must be defeated. How else would one “counter a revisionist state” that “threatens our homeland”?

Why with Daisy Cutters, of course. Just like everyone else.

The NMS provides a laundry list of justifications for launching wars against (imaginary) enemies of the US. The fact is, the Pentagon sees ghosts around every corner. Whether the topic is new technologies, “shifting demographics” or cultural differences; all are seen as a potential threat to US interests, particularly anything related to the “competition for resources.” In this skewed view of reality, one can see how the invasion of Iraq was justified on the grounds that Saddam’s control of Iraq’s massive oil reserves posed a direct challenge to US hegemony. Naturally, Saddam had to be removed and over a million people killed to put things right and return the world to a state of balance. This is the prevailing view of the National Military Strategy, that is, that whatever the US does is okay, because its the US.

Readers shouldn’t expect to find something new in the NMS. This is old wine in new bottles. The Pentagon has merely updated the Bush Doctrine while softening the rhetoric. There’s no need to scare the living daylights out of people by talking about unilateralism, preemption, shrugging off international law or unprovoked aggression. Even so, everyone knows that United States is going to do whatever the hell it wants to do to keep the empire intact. The 2015 National Military Strategy merely confirms that sad fact.

GOP's New Attack on Social Security's Disability Benefits: Exaggerate Number Of Claims

Republicans say too many Americans are faking injuries.

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The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program is set to be the next big battle in Republicans’ long campaign to dismantle Social Security.

Congressional Republicans are trying to block a routine reallocation [3] of funds to the SSDI Trust Fund, insisting that they will only allow reallocation if “reforms” to SSDI are implemented. The intellectual underpinning for their demands is that there is an unfolding fiscal crisis caused by workers who are able to earn a living but are instead choosing to claim disability benefits.

A chief proponent of this view, Stanford economist Mark Duggan, testified [4] before the Senate Budget Committee earlier this year, claiming that disability benefits are increasingly attractive to lower-wage workers, who respond by leaving the labor force. According to Duggan, a key piece of evidence supporting this claim is an increase in the share of beneficiaries suffering from musculoskeletal disorders and other “subjective” health conditions who have a “substantial” employment potential.

Claims like these have become a mainstay of attacks on the disability program. However, a closer look at the evidence shows that SSDI benefits have become, if anything, less generous. Moreover, even research cited by critics shows SSDI receipt has a negligible impact on work effort because few applicants, including marginal applicants who were denied benefits, are able to earn a living afterward. Meanwhile, there are good explanations for the increase in the share of beneficiaries suffering from musculoskeletal disorders, including an aging population, rising obesity rates, and fewer workers able to retire early when their health deteriorates.

These topics will be discussed in later blog posts. This post will focus on whether disability incidence has increased in the first place. The evidence shows that while “raw” or unadjusted incidence–the number of new awards per thousand insured persons–increased as the large baby boomer cohort aged into the peak disability years before retirement, age-adjusted incidence hasn’t trended upward over the past 20 years, though it increased during periods of high unemployment. However, incidence has fallen in the wake of the Great Recession and as older baby boomers become eligible for Social Security retirement benefits, including disabled boomers who automatically transition to retirement benefits as they reach the normal retirement age.

It’s natural to assume that where there’s smoke there must be fire. But when it comes to Republicans claiming that “financial incentives” are fueling a rise in disability, we should look for smoke and mirrors. As researchers at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities [5] have laid out in detail, Duggan and other critics have made much of a growth in enrollment that is mostly due to demographic and other identifiable factors that have nothing to do with people gaming the system.

These include population growth, an increase in women’s labor force participation, an increase in Social Security’s normal retirement age from 65 to 66, the aging of the large Baby Boomer generation, and an increase in life expectancy at older ages. Only the last two–which resulted in an older insured population and longer benefit receipt–pose a challenge, while other trends have benign or even beneficial implications for Social Security’s finances. The increase in women’s labor force participation, for example, increased the share of beneficiaries who paid into the system as opposed to being eligible based on spousal contributions.

How do Liebman and Duggan come to such different conclusions? The main reason is that Duggan puts more weight on older data, and his Senate testimony shows he is sticking to his story even as disability incidence has plummeted in the wake of the Great Recession and as the Baby Boomers begin aging out. Essentially, Duggan extrapolates from a period in the 1980s when enrollment was rebounding from earlier cuts, whereas Liebman emphasizes that there has been no upward trend in age-adjusted incidence since the early 1990s. Also, when Duggan claims that the percentage of adults receiving SSDI has risen even within age groups, he not only picks an earlier start date but focuses on the share of adults receiving benefits rather than the share of insured adults. Fewer women were insured–and paying into the program–when fewer worked outside the home.

In the program’s early decades [6], policy shifts and reversals caused big swings in disability incidence and program costs. Initially limited to workers age 50 and older with permanent disabilities, by 1965 eligibility for disabled-worker benefits had been extended to younger workers with serious impairments of long, but not necessarily permanent, duration. In the stagflation years of the 1970s, disability incidence rose along with the relative value of benefits as wages, but not benefits, declined in real terms.

Incidence peaked at seven new awards per 1000 insured participants in 1975 before cost-containment measures were initiated in 1977 and 1980. These included lower cost-of-living adjustments, tighter medical standards, and more frequent continuing disability reviews (CDRs), but without sufficient funding to pay for increased administrative caseloads. In the early 1980s, many beneficiaries were kicked off the rolls after seemingly cursory reviews and despite no improvement in their health. This sparked a political backlash that resulted in many former beneficiaries being reinstated and a ten-year (1983-1992) upward trend in disability incidence by age group. Raw incidence nevertheless declined during the early part of this period as the large baby boomer cohort entered the workforce, bringing down the average age of the insured population. But it then increased again as the baby boomers aged into their peak disability years, eventually regaining the 1975 peak in 2010 before declining in 2011-13.

Incidence isn’t the only measure of whether the program is growing unsustainably. Others include the share of the insured or overall population receiving benefits (“prevalence”), and the cost of the program as a share of GDP. Critics also point to increases in the number of beneficiaries, though this is mostly driven by population growth and is not a very useful measure. Of these measures, age-adjusted incidence is the best indicator of whether financial incentives are causing more workers to apply for and receive benefits, since it is unaffected by changes in the age distribution of the population, changes in the share of the population insured for benefits, or changes in the value of benefits. Unlike prevalence, however, incidence doesn’t take into account mortality improvements that also affect sustainability.

Age-adjusted incidence is affected by cyclical fluctuations in unemployment, though not as much as Duggan and other critics claim. The fact that incidence rises somewhat during periods of high unemployment is normal, since the inability to engage in “substantial gainful activity” (currently defined as earning $1,090 or more per month in most cases) is a key eligibility requirement. Mechanically, the share of workers in poor health who are no longer gainfully employed increases in recessions, growing the pool of potential applicants even though denial rates also increase in recessions [7].

Though they complement antipoverty and health programs like SSI and Medicare, disability programs around the world are designed to insure workers against lost earnings and therefore take into account applicants’ ability to earn a living as well as their health. Duggan and other critics say the disability screening process in the United States hinges too much on applicants’ employment prospects [8], but it would be both wasteful and cruel to ignore workers’ marketable skills.

Though Sen. Rand Paul, R-KY, may think he can tell at a glance who should qualify for benefits (someone with “quadriplegia or paraplegia [9]” and not someone who is “anxious or their back hurts [10]“), there are people using wheelchairs who can support themselves and people with musculoskeletal or anxiety disorders who have no hope of ever doing so. The difference lies not just with the severity of an individual’s medical condition (a run-of-the-mill backache or panic attack doesn’t cut it), but also the market for his or her skills. If anything, the program’s earnings test is too strict, because earning potential is defined at the national level and doesn’t take into account labor market conditions. Workers can be denied benefits even if there are no jobs available for people with their qualifications and physical limitations anywhere in the country.

The fact that earning potential is taken into account doesn’t mean workers with mild ailments are using the program “as a form of long-term unemployment insurance,” as Duggan suggests. Duggan has a habit of exaggerating cyclical effects by focusing on applications, rather than awards, never acknowledging that denial rates also rise during recessions. He also claims that “the SSDI program has become much more sensitive to economic conditions since the early 1980s,” which is a misleading way of saying that policy shifts in the earlier period (notably the early 1980s crackdown that coincided with a double-dip recession) swamped other effects. In fact, awards have become less sensitive to economic conditions in recent years, and careful research taking advantage of differences across states found that disability benefits are not being used as a substitute for unemployment benefits [11].

Is Social Security on an unsustainable course? The Social Security actuaries project that costs will decline and then level off below 0.8 percent of GDP as the Baby Boomers age out. Underlying this projection is an assumption that age-adjusted incidence isn’t increasing, an assumption Duggan challenged when he served on the 2011 technical panel of the Social Security Advisory Board (SSAB) [12]. Recently, however, Harvard economist Jeffrey Liebman presented evidence [13] to the current SSAB technical panel showing that there had been no upward trend in age-adjusted incidence over the past 20 years after demographic and cyclical effects are taken into account. Rather, Liebman found a modest decrease in men’s incidence and a modest “catch-up” increase in women’s incidence that offset each other. A later version published in the Journal of Economic Perspectives [14] (and edited by Duggan, according to an April 21 Politico Pro article available only to subscribers) termed men’s adjusted incidence “steady” rather than declining based on an analysis of data through 2007, though Liebman’s charts show a decline in age- and unemployment-adjusted incidence between 2007 and 2010. Extending the analysis to 2013 (see Figures 1 and 2) confirms that men’s adjusted incidence has trended downward even as unadjusted incidence increased in the Great Recession and weak recovery.

In other words, despite Republican claims to the contrary, the disability insurance program isn't seeing an abnormal uptick in people gaming the system. As American society ages, with a demographic bubble for Baby Boomers, the SSDI program's enrollment mirrors these trends.

US Admits Paying Terrorists For Services Rendered In Syria

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When researchers such as myself have reported that the United States is funding al-Qaeda, Nusra, ISIS and other related terror organizations in Syria, we were not kidding. Still,despite the fact that even the U.S. government itself has admitted that it was funding terrorists directly and indirectly through Saudi Arabia, the suggestion was met with disbelief, ridicule, or either entirely ignored. 

Now, however, the United States government has admitted that it funds terrorists on the ground in Syria yet again, this time placing an individual dollar amount on the assistance provided. 

According to the Pentagon, Syrian “rebels” being trained and “vetted” by the United States are receiving “compensation” to the tune of anywhere between $250 to $400 per month to act as America’s proxy forces in the Middle East. Reuters reports that the payment levels were confirmed by the Pentagon and also that the Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and Navy Commander Elissa Smith both separately admitted the fact that these “new” terrorists are receiving a stipend.

Reuters also reported on alleged obstacles the Pentagon claims it is facing regarding the ability to train the death squad volunteers due to a lack of ability to “vet” them appropriately as well as a bizarre incident where fighters abandon the mission after having received training from the US military. The reason provided by the Pentagon was that the fighters did not want to sign a contract to avoid fighting Assad. But, in the same report, the Pentagon states that there was no such contract – only one requiring them to “respect human rights” and “the rule of law,” so the reason provided for the disappearance of these fighters lacks legitimacy. One can only speculate as to where these “trainees” disappeared to.

Of course, “human rights” and the “rule of law” have never been concerns before, even as the United States has funded, armed, trained, and directed jihadists on the ground from the very beginning of the Syrian crisis. Neither has there been any concern over the presence of “moderate” rebels that have never actually existed in Syria. After all, it should be remembered that the United States own Defense Intelligence Agency was recently forced to release and declassify documents which admitted that not only did the US know that the “rebellion” was made up of al-Qaeda and Nusra forces but that these organizations and similar groups were attempting to create a “Salafist principality” in the east of Syria and West of Iraq. The DIA docs also show that the US was supporting all of these efforts. In reality, of course, the US was directing these efforts.

Make no mistake, the United States is not funding “moderate vetted rebels” to fight ISIS or al-Qaeda. The US is funding jihadist terrorists and mercenaries to work alongside ISIS and al-Qaeda (if they are not members of these organizations already) to overthrow the secular government of Bashar al-Assad. Virtually every person of a moderate persuasion in Syria has long come over to the side of the Syrian government. Indeed, there was never such a thing as a moderate rebel in Syria to begin with and the reality on the ground has not changed since.

Thus, revelations that the United States is funding a mercenary army to overthrow Assad is nothing new. The only revelation contained in these recent reports are the chicken feed denominations of money that the terrorist savages are accepting for their services in barbarity and treason on behalf of the agenda of the Anglo-American world order.

The CIA’s Creation of “Islamic Terrorism” on American Soil

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Islamic paramilitary camps have been set up in the United States and Canada to train African American Muslims in guerilla warfare. After months of training on firing ranges and obstacle courses, the black Muslims are sent to Pakistan where they receive advanced training in explosives. Many never return.
Stories about these camps are not new. They have been reported by the main stream media, including Fox News.
The origin of these compounds for would-be jihadis dates back to 1979, when the Agency sent hundreds of radical Islamic clerics to the United States in an effort to recruit African American Muslims for the holy war against the Soviets in Afghanistan.
The Tablighi Missionaries
By and large, these missionaries hailed from Pakistan and belonged to Tablighi Jamaat, a Muslim movement with 150 members in 213 countries.[1] Upholding a strict interpretation of Islamic law (shariah), the Tablighi were united in their resistance to Western culture; their insistence that Muslims should avoid contact with all those who do not share their beliefs; and their approval of jihad by sword (jihad bin saif).[2] Members of the movement gathered every year for three days in the small Pakistani town ofRaiwind.
In 1979, Sheikh Mubarek Ali Gilani, a Tablighi missionary from Lahore, Pakistan, arrived in Brooklynwhere he called upon members of Dar ul-Islam, a notoriously violent street gang, to take arms in the great jihad. Scores answered his call and were headed off to Pakistan with payments of thousands of dollars in cash and promises of seventy houris in seventh heaven, if they were killed in action.[3]
Welcome To Islamberg
By 1980, the Agency realized that considerable expense could be saved by setting up paramilitary camps under the supervision of Shiekh Gilani in a rural area of the country. An ideal location was located near Hancock New York at the base ofPointMountain, where the east and west branches of the Delaware River converge to form the headwaters that flow throughPennsylvania and New Jersey to theAtlantic Ocean. The rocky terrain was infested with rattlesnakes, and the woods were home to black bears, coyotes, wolves, and a few bobcats. Islamberg, a seventy acre complex, came into existence.
Firing ranges and obstacle courses were set up in Islamberg along with a massive underground bunker and a landing strip. The residents lived in single-wide trailers that lined the hillside. The settlement contained a small shack that served as a laundry facility; a claptrap community center; a tiny grocery store, and a masjid. A sentry post was placed at the entranceway.[4]
The sound of gunfire and explosions emanating from the property alarmed local residents, who filed complaints with local and state law enforcement agencies. But a marked law enforcement vehicle never appeared at the compound.[5] Islamberg was off-limits to police inspection on the spurious grounds of “national security.”
The camp also came to contain an illegal cemetery where bodies were buried in unmarked graves.[6] This alone should have warranted a raid by the New York State Police. But not even dead bodies could prompt a police investigation.
When Islamberg was established, Gilani presented himself as an employee of the CIA and the future jihadis, who resided in the compound, called themselves CIA operatives.[7] Few in law enforcement doubted the professed credentials of the Muslim newcomers.
Communities of the Impoverished
Islamberg was a great success. Hundreds of African American Muslims made their way to Afghanistanand joined the ranks of the mujahedeen. Several were killed in action.[8]Others, including Clement Rodney Hampton-El, returned to the U.S. to plot the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York.[9]
Under the CIA’s directions, a host of other paramilitary camps were established in such places as Red House, Virginia; Commerce, Georgia; York, South Carolina; Dover, Tennessee; Buena Vista, Colorado; Macon, Georgia; Squaw Valley, California; Marion, Alabama; Talihina, Oklahoma; and Toronto, Ontario.[10]
Gilani placed Islamberg and the other camps under a governing organization called “Jamaat ul-Fuqra” or “the community of the impoverished.” He established the headquarters of this “charity” in Lahore. The American arm of Jamaat ul-Fuqra became the Muslims of the Americas,” a tax-exempt corporation with Gilani’s mosque in Brooklynas its address.[11]
Increased Need of Radicals
The Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989 did not spell an end to the CIA’s support of radical Islam. Throughout the 1990s, Dr. Ayman Zawahiri, al Qaeda’s second in command, travelled at the expense and bidding of the CIA throughout Central Asia, where he cultivated new armies of jihadis to destabilize the newly created republics. His efforts resulted in the uprising of the Chechens against the Russian Federation, the attempted toppling of the government in Uzbekistan, and the insurgence of the Uigurs in the Xinjiang provinceof China.[12]
A dutiful operative, Dr. Zawahiri met regularly with U.S.military and intelligence officials at the U.S.embassy in Baku, Azerbaijanto plan the Balkan operations in which the CIA worked with al Qaeda to overthrow the government of Slobodan Milosevic for the creation of “Greater Albania,” encompassing Albania, Kosovo, and parts of Macedonia. [13]
These operations, particularly in the Balkans, required the recruitment of more and more jihadis. Gilani’s camps continued to prosper. And more and more of his African American recruits appeared among the rank and file mujahedeen in various theaters of warfare throughout the world.
Dr. Zawahiri’s help was so valuable that he was granted permanent U.S.residence by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service in January 2000.[14]
The Rise of ISIS 
After 9/11, the Agency continued to cultivate Islamic holy warriors to maintain the “strategy of tension” in the Middle East, the Balkan states, and Central Asia and to mount new uprisings in Africa to expandU.S.hegemony. The grand purpose of these enterprises wasUSeconomic and political control ofEurasia. Zbigniew Brzezinski, former Secretary of State and leading strategist for the Council on Foreign Relations, writes:
For America, the chief geopolitical prize is Eurasia. . . . Now a non-Eurasian power is preeminent in Eurasia – - – and America’s global primacy is directly dependent on how long and how effectively its preponderance on the Eurasian continent is sustained. . . . To put it in a terminology that harkens back to the more brutal age of ancient empires, the three great imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep the tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together.[15]
In accordance with the strategy of keeping “the barbarians from coming together,” ISIS forces were and are trained at a secret U.S. military base in the Jordanian town of Safawi.[16] The weapons for ISIS came, compliments of the Agency, from the arsenal of deposed Libyan dictator Muammar Qadhafi. The shipment of these weapons to ISIS in Syria was supervised in 2012 by David Petraeus, the CIA director who would soon resign when it was alleged that he was having an affair with his biographer.[17]
Supply and Demand
In response to the increased demand, Gilani continued to churn out more and more African American jihadis. More and more training camps opened, including one in Texas.[18]More and more bodies were buried in unmarked graves. More and more complaints were made to law enforcement officials. And more and more graduates from the training camps made their way toPakistan.
Of course, there was blowback to the CIA’s establishment on Islamic paramilitary camps on American soil. Over the years, numerous members of Jamaat ul Fuqra have been convicted in U/S. court of such crimes as conspiracy to commit murder, firebombing, gun smuggling, and workers’ compensation fraud. Others remain leading suspects in criminal cases throughout the country, including ten unsolved assassinations and seventeen firebombings between 1979 and 1990.[19]
In 2001, a resident of the ul-Fuqra camp in California was charged with first-degree murder in the shooting of a sheriff’s deputy; another was charged with gun-smuggling; and twenty-four from the camp in Red House, Virginia were convicted of firearms violations.[20]
By 2004 investigators uncovered evidence that purportedly linked both the Washington, DC “sniper killer” John Allen Muhammad and “Shoe Bomber” Richard Reid to Gilani’s group and reports surfaced that Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl had been captured and killed in the process of attempting to gain an interview with Sheikh Gilani in Pakistan.[21]
By 2015, Jamaat ul-Fuqra had been involved in more terror attacks on America soil (30 and counting) than all the other terrorist groups combined. Despite these attacks, the group has never been placed on the official US Terror Watch List, and the Muslims of the Americascontinues to operate as a legitimate non-profit, tax-exempt organization.[22]
The Warning
Investigators, including Patrick Walsh and William Krayer, who have visited Islamberg and other paramilitary settlements, believe that the next major attack on US soil will emanate from Gilani’s jamaats of homegrown terrorism. Based on the history of the CIA’s involvement in the creation of these camps, such an attack may occur in accordance with the Agency’s own design.

US labor force participation rate hits lowest level in nearly four decades

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The latest US jobs report, released Thursday by the Labor Department, has been greeted as a another sign of “economic recovery” by the US political establishment. Speaking in La Crosse, Wisconsin, President Obama praised the June jobs report as pointing to a “record streak of private sector job growth.”
On paper, the jobs report appears to show a modest improvement: the US economy added 223,000 jobs, only slightly lower than average over the past year, while the unemployment rate fell by 0.2 percentage points, to 5.3 percent.
But any serious look at the latest figures reveals why Jim Clifton, head of the Gallup polling agency, has denounced the official unemployment rate as a “big lie” that largely ignores the continued prevalence of mass unemployment in the United States.
The share of the US population that is either employed or actively trying to find work, known as the labor force participation rate, has fallen to its lowest level in 38 years.
The last time this figure was below its present level of 62.6 was 1977, before tens of millions of women entered the labor force.
The US labor force participation rate for men, meanwhile, last month hit its lowest level ever on records dating back nearly seven decades. In 1948, 86 percent of men of working age were engaged in the labor force: now, that figure is down to 69 percent: a decline of 17 percentage points.
For adults aged 25 to 54, there has been no increase in the labor force participation rate over the whole of the past year, despite a steady decline in the official unemployment rate.
The persistent fall in the labor force participation rate reflects the fact that millions if not tens of millions of people have simply given up looking for work, either because there are no jobs available, or because of the terrible pay and working conditions at those that are.
In fact, almost the entire drop in the official unemployment rate last month was attributable to an enormous decline in the labor force, in which 432,000 people in the US stopped looking for work, according to the report.
Wages also stagnated last month, according to the report. Average hourly wages for workers in the private sector were flat in June, and they were up by only 2 percent over the course of the past year.
A look at the industries where jobs were added reveals why this is the case. The number of manufacturing jobs, which in many cases pay higher wages, grew by only 4,000, while construction and government jobs remained unchanged.
Relatively low-paying service sector jobs, meanwhile, made up the bulk of the positions that were added. The health care sector, which employs a mass of low-wage workers alongside a small number of higher-skilled medical professionals, added 40,000 jobs.
The retail sector, which pays a typical salesperson $10.23 per hour, added 33,000 jobs, while the leisure and hospitality sector, which pays a typical worker $10.41 per hour, added 22,000. Temporary employment agencies added 20,000 jobs last month, five times more than the entire US manufacturing sector.
The persistent growth of low-wage service sector employment at the expense of higher-paying skilled and manufacturing jobs has been perhaps a predominant component of the Obama “recovery.”
Last year, the National Employment Law Project noted that while US businesses had added 1.85 million low-wage jobs since 2008, they had eliminated 1.83 million medium-wage and high-wage jobs during the same period.
Other elements in the report pointed to a more persistent economic slump. In particular, higher-than-average jobs gains in May and April were revised down by a total of 60,000 positions.
Despite the celebratory tone taken by the White House, economists quoted in major newspapers warned of the disturbing trends expressed in the report.
“The labor markets just can’t hit their stride,” economist Guy LeBas told the Wall Street Journal. “As has been the case with many economic data points in the last few years, the headlines are decent, but most of the underlying details are deeply disappointing.”
Others warned of potential dangers ahead. “The numbers show that employment in the U.S. may be peaking,” economist Tara Sinclair told the Journal. “If wages aren’t growing and we can’t get people back into the labor force, it won’t be possible to keep adding 200,000 jobs each month.”
The latest jobs report follows the publication of a string of figures showing the persistent growth in social inequality and social distress in the US over the past year.
Last Wednesday, University of California Berkeley economist Emmanuel Saez published figures showing that the share of income gobbled up by top earners continued to grow in 2014. The top one percent of earners received 21.2 percent of all income in 2014, up from 20.1 percent the year before.
The same day that Saez published his report, the Wall Street Journal unveiled a separate survey of executive pay, which found that CEOs at major corporations it surveyed had their pay increase by 13.5 percent in 2014, hitting $13.6 million.
Also Wednesday, Harvard University’s Joint Center For Housing Studies released a study showing that homeownership in the US had hit the lowest level in two decades. It found that for those ages 35-44, the homeownership rate has hit the lowest level since the 1960s.
Under these conditions, Obama was forced to qualify his praise for last month’s jobs report by hinting at the disastrous conditions facing working people in the US. Obama declared, “there are a lot of folks who still feel like the playing field is tilted in ways that make it hard for them to get ahead.”
He should know, having done more than anyone else to secure this outcome. Even while pushing the expansion of low-paying jobs during the 2008 auto restructuring and supporting the drive of the city of Detroit to use bankruptcy to slash workers’ pensions, the Obama administration has provided trillions of dollars for the financial elite in the form of bank bailouts, zero-interest-rate central bank policies, and “quantitative easing.”
Now, Obama declares, “We’ve got more work to do because we’ve got to get folks’ wages and incomes to keep going up.”
Obama’s proposal to deal with stagnating wages, unveiled earlier this week and reiterated in his report, is a scheme to make an additional 3 percent of US workers eligible for overtime. According to the Labor Department, the proposal would increase wages for only 1.2 million people, adding $1.3 billion to total wages for US workers per year.
Obama’s trivial proposal on overtime pay is in line with the record of his entire presidency, which has sought to impose the full cost of the global capitalist crisis on the backs of the working class, while doing everything possible to protect and expand the wealth of the financial oligarchy that controls political life in the United States.